Children’s Incidental Learning of English Through Cartoons: An Italian Case Study


The presentation concerns a qualitative and longitudinal case study of two young Italian children acquiring English incidentally, while enjoying cartoons in a domestic environment. The data from a log kept by a participant observer over eight years are investigated to reconstruct the main steps of the process, from reception to various forms of production. Unlike most of the literature about similar cases, the language perspective chosen in the present study never considers words separately: the evidence given by the two siblings does not show language as a set of isolated items, but as formulaic sequences, also used as speech acts, gradually developing into more complex cohesive texts. Through a linguistic description of the data, the research attempts to establish a parallel with Halliday’s (1978) view of mother-tongue acquisition as social and cultural practice: thanks to the children’s emotional participation in their heroes’ adventures, the virtual world portrayed in the cartoons becomes the social context where communication takes place according to a shared semantic system.

Author Information
Rosalia Di Nisio, Università degli Studi di Udine, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2022
Stream: Plurilingualism - Bilingualism

This paper is part of the ECLL2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Nisio R. (2022) Children’s Incidental Learning of English Through Cartoons: An Italian Case Study ISSN: 2188-112X The European Conference on Language Learning 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon